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Topic: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

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  1. #1

    First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Hi,

    I want to get a first orchestral sounds library in the 300$ range and will like to seek for advice.
    I'm tempted now by MOTU SI for it's wide range of instruments, convolution reverb, low CPU and memory usage and the UVI engine seems pretty decent editing wise, but I red in a review that 5% of the sound were not too good which seems oriented in the strings, any owner can comment?
    In the other hand GPO have really impressive demo, but the kontakt player seems pretty limited and the lack of exotics instruments and voices seems pretty hard to fill with another not too expensive library.
    I also notice that a lot of people here seems to use Philharmonik, however I haven't come across really convincing demo and it's a bit more pricy.
    Any other I'm missing?

    Also, reading the post here it seems pretty clear that most of you are using more than one libraries, so I guess each developper has their strenght and weekness, but in my case i'm not looking in a library to do complete score works, but more to add color in different other musical style.

    Any advice will be really appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Francis.

  2. #2

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by labou
    Hi,

    I want to get a first orchestral sounds library in the 300$ range and will like to seek for advice.
    I'm tempted now by MOTU SI for it's wide range of instruments, convolution reverb, low CPU and memory usage and the UVI engine seems pretty decent editing wise, but I red in a review that 5% of the sound were not too good which seems oriented in the strings, any owner can comment?
    In the other hand GPO have really impressive demo, but the kontakt player seems pretty limited and the lack of exotics instruments and voices seems pretty hard to fill with another not too expensive library.
    I also notice that a lot of people here seems to use Philharmonik, however I haven't come across really convincing demo and it's a bit more pricy.
    Any other I'm missing?

    Also, reading the post here it seems pretty clear that most of you are using more than one libraries, so I guess each developper has their strenght and weekness, but in my case i'm not looking in a library to do complete score works, but more to add color in different other musical style.

    Any advice will be really appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Francis.
    Francis, for what it's worth, I urge you NOT to buy MOTU SI. Frankly, it sucks. I bought it last year and aside from the recorders and period instruments, I never use it. I don't dislike MOTU as I own their ultraLite and DP5. But this is the biggest piece of poo I have heard. The samples aren't any better than old Roland orchestral expansion. Heck, the Roland is better. Miroslav Philharmonik has a Classic Edition that is scaled down but is within your price range. I like Miro although in some instrument depts. it shows its age.

    I own almost something from every developer in terms of orchestral libraries so I hope I can give you a fairly objective perspective.

    EWQLSO Silver Pro- Good for the money (I think it's one sale now too). Low latency, CPU. Nice Steinway piano. Some choral stuff. Weak in the legato string dept. though. No chromatic sampling. No release trails. Does include solo strings which aren't bad. Qlegato is more successful in brass than winds or strings.

    Kontakt 2 (with VSL instruments). Probably the best value as you get the K2 player which many libraries are formatted for plus you get VSL orchestral instruments. they sound very good and you get the legato horns and solo flute which sound friggin' gorgeous (I use both all of the time). Celesta is nice. Harp is beautiful. Even has mod wheel control patches that simulate more realistic bowing for stringed instruments with (NEVER use velocity for strings).

    M-Audio Orchestral Strings
    M-Audio Orchestral Brass
    M-Audio Orchestral Winds
    - all three of these come packaged seperately but they are derived from Sonic Implants bigger libraries. nice smooth sounds. Good price ($100 Canadian per pack). Not as much variety as the other libs but nice professional sound. HOWEVER, you need Kontakt, HALion or EXS (not a problem if you already own Logic Express or Pro) to run them.

    Project SAM- basically just brass and percussion at the moment but god help us if they ever decide to release a full on orchestral library. Their brass cannot be beaten IMO.

    GPO I don't own this library but own J&BB and Strad 2. What I like about Garritan products is the level of control you have over the instruments. GPO is probably the cheapest of the lot and has some nice ways of shaping the instruments to your phrasing but I really don't like the brass. I find them a little anemic. But I hear lots of great demos from people and even Wendy Carlos, the godmother of synthesis praises Gary's products and that ain't no small endorsement!

    HALion Symphony Orchestra- This for me was a real steal as I corss-graded from HALion String Edition so I got a 27 gigabyte library with 24 bit samples for under $300. To my ears, this is a very good library. I don't think the demos did it justice on the Steinberg site to be honest. I've gotten some terrific results from it. But it lacks a piano and harp which kind of sucks. for a library that normally goes for $500 that's a bit of a gip.

    Kirk Hunter Emerald I have repeatedly heard great things about this library. Go to Kirk's website to check out some demos including individual articulations (nice one there Kirk!) as well as full on demos. But once again, this either requires that you already own Kontakt 2 or else EXS.

    Hope this helps you out.

    David

  3. #3

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    The $300 range?

    I would say the frontrunner in that range would be GPO.

    I do not have hands-on experience with the other above mentioned packages, but from my study and the demos I have heard, GPO seem to give the biggest bang-for-buck.

    I have been a satisfied GPO user since mid '05.
    It is true, the brass instruments are probably the weakest part of the library- but if you play aroung and do a lot of tweaking you can get some more-than-decent sound out of them.
    Unfortunately this is the kind of tweaking that requires having the library long enough to get used to it.

    Big plus, it retails for $200.
    Another plus, it only takes up 2GB hard drive space.
    Another plus, I can run four full instances of GPO (32 instruments) smoothly on a AMD 3000+ system with 1GB RAM.
    Another plus, GPO comes as a stand alone package, bundled with a lite version of Kontakt player, so it can be easily integrated into any DAW without previously owning a sampler.
    I have 2 gig now, so the only thing limiting me now is my CPU. (usually no more than 40 instruments)

    GPO has my recommendation.

  4. #4
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    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Another vote for GPO. The use of the mod wheel to control volume, and velocity to control attack is very straight forward and works quite well. GPO is a great starting point, and very helpful in learning about orchestration. Note also Gary's on-line course on orchestration as well.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by labou
    Hi,

    I want to get a first orchestral sounds library in the 300$ range and will like to seek for advice.
    I'm tempted now by MOTU SI for it's wide range of instruments, convolution reverb, low CPU and memory usage and the UVI engine seems pretty decent editing wise, but I red in a review that 5% of the sound were not too good which seems oriented in the strings, any owner can comment?
    In the other hand GPO have really impressive demo, but the kontakt player seems pretty limited and the lack of exotics instruments and voices seems pretty hard to fill with another not too expensive library.
    I also notice that a lot of people here seems to use Philharmonik, however I haven't come across really convincing demo and it's a bit more pricy.
    Any other I'm missing?

    Also, reading the post here it seems pretty clear that most of you are using more than one libraries, so I guess each developper has their strenght and weekness, but in my case i'm not looking in a library to do complete score works, but more to add color in different other musical style.

    Any advice will be really appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Francis.
    Hello,

    if I were you, I would buy the GPO or/and the Kirk Hunters Emerald.

    This two libraries give you sooo much!

    Best regards
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  6. #6

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    I know it goes beyond the $300 limit, but the guys from Vienna have released the Special Edition of their Vienna Instruments. The Standard library costs $445, and it has the same sample player as the bigger one. Have a look at: http://vsl.co.at/en-us/211/412/293.vsl

    I own Kirk Hunter's Emerals, and I agree it's very playable. It has tons of presets, but most of them based on the same samples. I have heard there are lots of samples which are not used by any preset, so they're only wasting space (have in mind I have not checked it). I own ProjectSAM Brass, and I think it's faaar better sounding than Emerald's, but no so playable.

    I hear lots of phasing in the brass and strings, and some sound anomalies I can't describe. In the sound department, I find GPO a lot more consistent, without noises (you can add noise if you want to, adding noise samples in the sequencer). I really like GPO woods and strings, but it's harder to master them. Emerald is maybe more usable out of the box, but I have heard great themes rendered with GPO (look for Roberto Ferrari's aka beach compositions in this forum, specially his adagios).

    If you can live with the sound inconsistences of Emerald, get it. If not, buy GPO or save for VSL Special Edition.

    Just my € 0.02
    -Dani-

  7. #7

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Personally I would stay away from EWQL silver. Very soon you will start feeling cheated for the things you're missing.

    GPO can work much better with (a little more effort) and better results than Silver.

  8. #8

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    I really like Emerald , so much that I pushed Kirk to do an EXS24 version which he did. It is very playable and has its own sound.

    However, I will tell you on another forum I paricipate in I recommended it and man, did it get dissed.

    Apparently this forum will not let me post the link to that forum for some reason. I have some theories about that which if you pm me I will expand upon.

    Bottom line: listen to the demos. If you like the sound of them I would not worry about unused samples (which apparently EW has also) or reprocessed samples. If it sounds good, it is good.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  9. #9

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Personally I would stay away from EWQL silver. Very soon you will start feeling cheated for the things you're missing.

    GPO can work much better with (a little more effort) and better results than Silver.
    I 'd like to second this opinion. I have both GPO and Silver, and GPO is a more complete package (also a LOT more instruments), particularly if you are just beginning your foray into sample libraries. It is very intuitively programmed, and you have all your major articulations. It also has a great support community here on NS, and some of the best tech support ever. Silver has some nice sounds that I do use, but I have never done a piece only with Silver, because it is missing so much.

    I'm very impressed with the demos for Emerald. I don't own it, but I wish I did. The only drawback that I often read is in comparison to GPO--for someone just starting out--it can be overwhelming, by sheer numbers of samples to wade through. Also you need to have a sample player, since this is a library only.

    Hope that helps!

  10. #10

    Re: First orchestral libray, what will you suggest?

    Hi all!

    I'm quite new on this forum (been "lurking" awhile) but this is my first post since I couldn't resist sharing my 2 cents.

    For about two weeks ago I was in this very same situation. I read everything I could get my hands on on the net and, well, I just got Emerald and I must say that I'm really pleased with it.

    The "problem" with the multitude of patches isn't really a problem if you spend like 60 seconds to try and familiarize yourself with the abbrevations.

    In my opinion it's actually a strength. You have a patch for every passage in your music AND/OR you have large keyswitched ones as well with different types of modulation-wheel control to suit different playing styles.

    I like it alot so far.

    All I really can recommend you to do is to listen to the demos. If you like them, you'll like Emerald.


    Regards
    Thomas

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